Ithaca, N.Y. — Cornell announced Wednesday the suspension of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha to prevent “activities that could jeopardize the safety of members and their guests.”
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That announcement follows one from the university last week that the Psi Upsilon fraternity had been suspended. Psi Upsilon was later cleared in a subsequent investigation after the initial allegations were found to be false, according to Cornell.
Cornell’s fraternities have been under increased scrutiny from the university since George Desdunes died in a hazing-related incident. Desdunes was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity; the fraternity brothers who were charged in the death were later acquitted.
The statement about Lambda Chi Alpha from Cornell’s Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina said:
“Interim suspension is a pause in the operations of a chapter during which the chapter may not engage in any activities other than operation of its residence.”
“The purpose of the suspension is to prevent activities that could jeopardize the safety of members and their guests, and to allow an investigation of an incident to proceed without the potential of further incidents.”
A representative of Psi Upsilon, the fraternity that was suspended last week but later cleared, emailed an Ithaca Voice reporter on Wednesday. (The Voice hadn’t covered the story until this one.)
Here’s the text of the message, from fraternity Governor and Spokesperson Mark S. Barron, class of 1999:
I am a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity at Cornell University, and spokesman for its alumni organization. You may have read that, five days ago, Cornell University suspended the fraternity from social and new member education activities. After conducting a comprehensive fact-finding investigation, Cornell University has lifted all restrictions on Psi Upsilon fraternity. The University determined that the underlying allegations against the fraternity “were not accurate” and the fraternity has resumed normal activities on campus: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/02/psi-upsilon-fraternity-resumes-activities.
The allegations were false and defamatory. Our greatest concern is therefore the damage these false allegations and the republication of the allegations in the media have caused our students. Most personally, the allegations are adversely impacting the reputation of undergraduate brothers as they work to develop successful lives, both now and after Cornell. We expect that Cornell and news organizations are similarly sensitive to the effects these false accusations are having on the lives of Cornell’s students and ask that they be removed from all publications.
Please find below a statement attributable to Mark Barron, Governor and Spokesperson of the Chi of Psi Upsilon Association. Please also find a summary of Psi Upsilon’s community contribution and leadership:
“We are pleased that Cornell University has confirmed that these allegations are false and defamatory. We respectfully request that the University and media outlets remove any and all false information about this incident from their websites. Psi Upsilon has been a leader in the Cornell community since 1876, with a strong record of commitment to educational, moral, intellectual, and social excellence. We invest ourselves in the development of leadership skills that can be practiced in one’s college years and utilized beyond. We strive to contribute to our university, our communities, and our country. We look forward to continuing that commitment in 2015.”
-Mark S. Barron
Governor and Spokesperson
Chi of Psi Upsilon Association
Cornell University, Class of 1999
Chi of Psi Upsilon Community Contribution & Leadership
Psi Upsilon has been a leader in changing the way Greek organizations approach education and membership, leadership development, student health, and risk management. In 2013, Psi Upsilon instituted a residential live in advisor/mentor program to provide the undergrads constant access to mature, thoughtful mentorship. Over the last decade, the Chapter has modified its membership program to reflect the new role of fraternities in contemporary American life and to assure the wellness, health, and safety of the undergraduate brothers and the students with whom the brothers interact. Psi Upsilon’s alumni are also particularly proud of the leadership role its undergraduates have assumed in Ithaca and the Cornell community. The undergraduate brothers make charitable and service contributions to their community and their university while forming lifelong bonds with each other.
- Psi Upsilon raised over $10,000 through community service for charitable organizations in 2014 (Share our Strength Foundation, Livestrong Foundation, Reading is Fundamental, Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Rochester, etc.)
- The Psi Upsilon undergraduate members founded a local organization to enable Cornell Fraternities and Sororities to contribute excess food to local homeless shelters
- A Psi Upsilon undergraduate member is the Cornell student ambassador for the Wounded Warrior Project.
- A Psi Upsilon undergraduate member is an ambassador for Early College Awareness, outreach programs to underprivileged kids in Tompkins County.
- A Psi Upsilon undergraduate member is president of ALPFA – a Latino interest focused student organization
- A Psi Upsilon undergraduate member is the president of Greeks Go Green – an environmental initiative charged with sustainability in the community
- The culturally, geographically, and socioeconomically diverse Psi Upsilon membership includes 3 pre-med students (seeking to become doctors); 9 Cornell Varsity athletes (including 6 different sports); 12 Cornell Teaching Assistants, and numerous other community leaders and mentors.
- Psi Upsilon has consistently maintained one of the top Cornell Fraternity grade point averages for the last 2 years.